Berjaya is a 28-year-old Malaysian corporation that also distributes Mazda in its native country. Aside from that, they also own and operate businesses in the real estate, food, gambling, media, and assets industry. And in case you didn't know, the Berjaya Group has been in the Philippines for 18 years, running establishments such as Papa John's Pizza and a hotel in Makati amongst others. That gives them more than enough experience and capital to jumpstart the brand locally.
The Distributor Agreement signing ceremony was held last week and was attended by Yuki Nakamine, Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer of Mazda Motor Corporation; Francis Lee, Executive Director of Bermaz representing Berjaya Group of Companies; and Francis Panlilio, DTI Undersecretary for Trade and Investment Promotions Group (TIPG).
"Mazda is very impressed with Berjaya's track record in building the Mazda business in Malaysia, registering year over year sales increases in Malaysia since its appointment in 2008. With this new business opportunity, Berjaya again demonstrates its commitment to Mazda by investing in the Philippines, establishing an organization many months before official operation and filling the positions with experienced professional management talent," said Mr. Nakamine of Mazda Motor Corporation.
At the helm of the new Mazda Philippines is none other than Steven Tan, who was VP for Sales and Marketing in FGP before he left his post a few months ago. As a 15-year veteran in the automotive industry, Tan surely knows how to put the spunk back in Mazda. Joining him in the new office are Dave Macasadia, Japeth Castillo, and Kristoff Arcega, who were likewise poached from FGP.
Expressing his delight on the new business venture, Executive Director of Bermaz, Francis Lee remarked: "We have managed to lift the Mazda brand tremendously in Malaysia when we took over as distributor in 2008. The Mazda sales volume has increased from less than 1,000 units in 2009, to about 6,000 units last year. We are eager to replicate the same success story in the Philippines not only through sharing of best practices, but also harnessing the best Filipino talents."
With the promise to “bring the Mazda brand to greater heights in the Philippines,” we're definitely looking forward to a more exciting Mazda under Berjaya Auto Philippines. They are, however, keeping mum if the rather-overpriced Mazda 3, CX-5, and BT-50 will become cheaper once they step in.